Chios, the passage from the West to the East, the island of dream and Homer, is situated in the East of the Aegean Sea, a few miles away from the Asia Minor peninsula of the Erithrea, near the cities of Izmir and Cesme. In the East of Chios people can visit the small island of Oinousses and in the west there is the historical island of Psara. Chios is fragrant island that combines history, culture and a unique natural landscape with particular architecture, exclusively local products and rich flora.
Chios is the 5th largest island in Greece which has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. Chios is famous for its long naval tradition.
The visitor who comes to Chios will feel the magnitude of the island. Chios has never lost her authenticity during the years. The perfumes of the gardens fill the air and the unique smell of mastic made the visit in Chios unforgettable, especially in the “Mastixochoria”.
In the Byzantine times around the 4th century (1346) New Moni (New Monastery) and the Castle of Chios were built. Nea Moni is famous for its mosaic and is included in the Catalogue of Monuments of the International Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
Genoas conquered the island from 1346 to 1566, in that period the trade of mastic was expanded and a lot of medieval villages were built in the south part of Chios. Mesta is one of the most characteristic of the medieval villages. The massacre of Chios increased the sympathy of the rest of Europe and the growth of Philhellenism.
Eugene Delacroix and the Victor Hugo were inspired by the bravery of residents against the Turks. By the time of Balkan battles in 1912, Chios was finally freed and connected with the rest of Greek cities.
The island has 53.000 residents and most of them live in the center of Chios. Chios is famous for mastic and its naval tradition. A set of remarkable connections tie Christopher Colombus to the Greek island of Chios. He may have been born there. However, there is no doubt that the discover of America had gone to Chios on a number of voyages,
The visitor can make a travel in the time beginning from the south part of Chios in the archeological place of Emporios, he can explore the narrow roads of Kampos, which is pa lace full of citrus orchards, wells with round wheels on top called “Maganopigada”, mansions of great historic value and pebbled courtyards. He also can visit Mesta, Olympi and Pyrgi which are famous for their architecture. In the center of Chios you can visit Nea Moni and Anavatos which was built on a rock with steps slopes, leaving only access from the north side. He can visit the north part of Chios with the unique sunsets, the virgin beaches, the famous topical kinds of wines, the Castle in Volisso, the impressive cavern of Panagia Agiogalousena as well as the Church Museum of Kourounia. The canyon of Cambia and Malagiotis Valley are unique destination for walk in an area of great interest with vegetation. The visitor will see the rare species of orchid that sprout in the island, the wild tulip known as “lalades” which are unique and beautiful.
In the town of Chios, the visitor can visit the Korais Library one of the oldest and largest libraries in Greece, a number of museums as the Archeological Museum and the Municipal Art gallery which is situate in the renovated building of Public Baths, the Castle of Chios with its beautiful square and the narrow roads which make everyone travel back in the glorious history of Chios town.
Traditional feast are organized many times through the year in Chios. A remarkable one is the standard feast Shrove Monday was the traditional custom of Agas (aTurkish official)takes place. The feast of “Mostra” revives every year in Thymiana village during the last days of carnival. The Rocket War is an old custom in Vrodados which takes place every Easter Saturday night. New Year’s Boats is also a custom which revives on New Year’s Eve. During the summer time other feast are organized especially on 15th of August. Each area has feast, a religious holiday or a revival of a custom or tradition. In Chios the visitor will find a lot of local products which are unique as mastic chewing gums, mandarins, fruits in syrup, ouzo and souma and many others. Come to Chios and you will certainly have an unforgettable time.